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President Trump vs. Democrat Mark Warner on Saudi Arabia

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A U.S. Senator from Virginia made a fool of himself when he released a statement bashing President Donald J. Trump for his handling of the killing of Muslim Brotherhood-tieWashington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

“It’s hard to imagine that the Saudis would have taken this action under a Reagan, Bush, Clinton or Obama Administration without facing serious repercussions,” said Sen. Mark Warren (D-Va.).

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Warren must have forgotten about 9/11, during which 19 Saudi nationals hijacked four commercial airliners and flew them into the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon, killing nearly 3,000 Americans. The Bush administration continued to sell weapons and purchase oil from the Saudis, as did the Obama administration. Both administrations worked with the Saudis as a strategic partner in the Middle East, though the country practices Sharia Law and is guilty of human rights violations.

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Three thousand dead Americans was not enough for Warner to condemn the Middle Eastern nation. But one Muslim Brotherhood-tied Washington Post columnist? That was a bridge too far for the Virginia Senator.

“As a younger man in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Khashoggi considered himself a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which analysts often describe as a foundational group behind the emergence of al Qaeda,” the Washington Times said.

“Representatives of Saudi Arabia say that Jamal Khashoggi was an ‘enemy of the state’ and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but my decision is in no way based on that – this is an unacceptable and horrible crime,” Trump said in a statement on the killing.

“King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t.”

 

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Around The World

Pope Francis Prays For Coronavirus Relief in Unprecedented Empty Vatican Audience

The Pope appeared alone.

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Pope Francis prayed that God would comfort Italy and the world in the midst of the raging Chinese coronavirus epidemic, appearing in an unprecedented Vatican audience in Saint Peter’s Square. Papal events at the Vatican are almost always filled with pilgrims and the faithful, but the ceremony overseen by the Pope was entirely empty on account of the strict quarantine imposed on Italy as the nation reels from an unmatched death count from the disease.

Imagery of the event revealed the striking emptiness of the Vatican square, the overcast and rainy weather adding to the solemn nature of the papal event.

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May God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace,”  said the Pope at the event. “Lord, bless the world. Give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts.”

The Pope encouraged prayer from the faithful for those directly involved in the response to the historic health epidemic- healthcare workers, doctors, grocery employees, police and volunteers.

The Pope chose to deliver the traditional ‘Urbi et Orbi’ address at the event, a Vatican tradition that is usually reserved for Christmas and Easter. The prayer implied the likely cancellation of Vatican Easter proceedings, with the devastation caused by the coronavirus in Italy likely precluding any major gatherings within the coming months, at least. Reports indicate that the Pope will celebrate traditional Good Friday and Easter Sunday masses, but alone, in a manner similar to Friday’s papal appearance.

Catholic Sunday Masses have been entirely cancelled in Italy, a nearly entirely unprecedented development that speaks to the gravity of the situation in the disease-stricken country. The nation had its worst day in terms of casualties on Friday, with deaths rising to 9,134, with a total national count of almost 87,000.

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